The number of older adults age 65 and older is growing, and many are socially isolated and regularly feel lonely.
The coronavirus outbreak in 2020 brought even more challenges due to health considerations and the need to practice physical distancing.
Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive.
But as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone.
Being alone may leave older adults more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which can affect their health and well-being.
Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher risks for health problems such as heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.
Experts from the National Institute on Aging want to talk about this in a free question and answer online event. A Facebook Live session will take place at 2 p.m., Thursday, March 4.
For information, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xsbjH
Adults who are lonely or socially isolated are less healthy, have longer hospital stays, are readmitted to the hospital more often, and are more likely to die earlier than those with meaningful and supportive social connections.
What is the difference between Loneliness and social isolation?
Loneliness and social isolation are different, but related.
Loneliness is the distressing feeling of being alone or separated.
Social isolation is the lack of social contacts and having few people to interact with regularly.
You can live alone and not feel lonely or socially isolated, and you can feel lonely while being with other people.
Older adults are at higher risk for social isolation and loneliness due to changes in health and social connections that can come with growing older, hearing, vision, and memory loss, disability, trouble getting around, and/or the loss of family and friends.
Join NIA experts for a Facebook Live Q&A to learn how social isolation impacts your health and how to stay more connected.
Need help now? The Eldercare Locator connects the public to services for older adults and their families. This resource seeks to provide assistance for a wide range of issues affecting older Americans, including social isolation and loneliness.
Call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 or visit https://eldercare.acl.gov/ to get connected today.